R178 Recommendation concerning night work

Geneva, 26 giugno 1990

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its 77th Session on 6 June 1990, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to night work, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation supplementing the Night Work Convention, 1990,
adopts this twenty-sixth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Night Work Recommendation, 1990:


1. For the purposes of this Recommendation:
(a) the term night work means all work which is performed during a period of not less than seven consecutive hours, including the interval from midnight to 5 a.m., to be determined by the competent authority after consulting the most representative organisations of employers and workers or by collective agreements;
(b) the term night worker means an employed person whose work requires the performance of a substantial number of hours of night work which exceeds a specified limit. This limit shall be fixed by the competent authority after consulting the most representative organisations of employers and workers or by collective agreements.
2. This Recommendation applies to all employed persons, except those employed in agriculture, stock raising, fishing, maritime transport and inland navigation.
3. (1) The provisions of this Recommendation may be implemented by laws or regulations, collective agreements, arbitration awards or court decisions, a combination of these means or in any other manner appropriate to national conditions and practice. In so far as they have not been given effect by other means, they should be implemented by laws or regulations.
(2) Where the provisions of this Recommendation are implemented by laws or regulations, there should be prior consultation with the most representative organisations of employers and workers.


4. (1) Normal hours of work for night workers should not exceed eight in any 24-hour period in which they perform night work, except in the case of work which includes substantial periods of mere attendance or stand-by, in cases in which alternative working schedules give workers at least equivalent protection over different periods or in cases of exceptional circumstances recognised by collective agreements or failing that by the competent authority.
(2) The normal hours of work of night workers should generally be less on average than and, in any case, not exceed on average those of workers performing the same work to the same requirements by day in the branch of activity or the undertaking concerned.
(3) Night workers should benefit to at least the same extent as other workers from general measures for reducing normal weekly hours of work and increasing days of paid leave.
5. (1) Work should be organised in such a way as to avoid, as far as possible, overtime by night workers before or after a daily period of work which includes night work.
(2) In occupations involving special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain, no overtime should be performed by night workers before or after a daily period of work which includes night work, except in cases of force majeure or of actual or imminent accident.
6. Where shift work involves night work:
(a) in no case should two consecutive full-time shifts be performed, except in cases of force majeure or of actual or imminent accident:
(b) a rest period of at least 11 hours between two shifts should be guaranteed as far as possible.
7. Daily periods of work which include night work should include a break or breaks to enable workers to rest and eat. The scheduling and total length of these breaks should take account of the demands placed on workers by the nature of night work.


8. (1) Night work should generally give rise to appropriate financial compensation. Such compensation should be additional to the remuneration paid for the same work performed to the same requirements during the day and:
(a) should respect the principle of equal pay for men and women for the same work, or for work of equal value; and
(b) may by agreement be converted into reduced working time.
(2) In determining such compensation, the extent of reductions in working hours may be taken into account.
9. Where financial compensation for night work is a normal element in a night worker's earnings, it should be included in the calculation of the remuneration of paid annual leave, paid public holidays and other absences that are normally paid as well as in the fixing of social security contributions and benefits.


10. Employers and the workers' representatives concerned should be able to consult the occupational health services, where they exist, on the consequences of various forms of organisation of night work, especially when undertaken by rotating crews.
11. In determining the content of the tasks assigned to night workers, account should be taken of the nature of night work and of the effects of environmental factors and forms of work organisation. Special attention should be paid to factors such as toxic substances, noise, vibrations and lighting levels and to forms of work organisation involving heavy physical or mental strain. Cumulative effects from such factors and forms of work organisation should be avoided or reduced.
12. The employer should take the necessary measures to maintain during night work the same level of protection against occupational hazards as by day, in particular avoiding, as far as possible, the isolation of workers.


13. Measures should be taken to limit or reduce the time spent by night workers in travelling between their residence and workplace, to avoid or reduce additional travelling expenses for them and to improve their safety when travelling at night. Such measures may include:
(a) co-ordination between the starting and finishing times of daily periods of work which include night work and the schedules of local public transport services;
(b) provision by the employer of collective means of transport for night workers where public transport services are not available;
(c) assistance to night workers in the acquisition of appropriate means of transport;
(d) the payment of appropriate compensation for additional travelling expenses;
(e) the building of housing complexes within a reasonable distance of the workplace.
14. Measures should be taken to improve the quality of rest for night workers. Such measures may include:
(a) advice and, where appropriate, assistance to night workers for noise insulation of their housing;
(b) design and equipping of housing complexes which take into account the need to reduce noise levels.
15. Suitably equipped resting facilities should be made available to night workers in appropriate places in the undertaking.
16. The employer should take the necessary measures to enable workers performing night work to obtain meals and beverages. Such measures, devised in such a way as to meet the needs of night workers, may include:
(a) making available, at appropriate places in the undertaking, food and beverages suitable for consumption at night;
(b) access to facilities where workers may, at night, prepare or heat and eat food which they have brought.
17. The extent to which night work is performed locally should be one of the factors to be taken into consideration when deciding on the establishment of crèches or other services for the care of young children, choosing their location and determining their opening hours.
18. The specific constraints on night workers should be duly taken into consideration by the public authorities, by other institutions and by employers within the framework of measures to encourage training and retraining, as well as cultural, sporting or recreational activities for workers.


19. At any point during pregnancy, once this is known, women night workers who so request should be assigned to day work, as far as practicable.
20. In cases of shift work, the special situation of workers with family responsibilities, of workers undergoing training and of older workers should be taken into consideration when decisions are taken on the composition of night crews.
21. Except in cases of force majeure or of actual or imminent accident, workers should be given reasonable notice of a requirement to perform night work.
22. Measures should be taken, where appropriate, to enable night workers, like other workers, to benefit from training opportunities including paid educational leave.
23. (1) Night workers who have completed a given number of years on night work should be accorded special consideration with respect to vacancies for day work for which they have the necessary qualifications.
(2) Preparations should be made for such transfers by facilitating the training of night workers where necessary for tasks normally performed by day.
24. Workers who have spent a considerable number of years as night workers should be accorded special consideration with respect to opportunities for voluntary early or phased retirement where such opportunities exist.
25. Night workers who have a trade union or workers' representation function should, like other workers who assume such a function, be able to exercise it in appropriate conditions. The need to carry out workers' representation functions should be taken into consideration when decisions are made concerning assignment of workers' representatives to night work.
26. Statistics on night work should be improved and studies on the effects of different forms of organisation of night work, particularly when carried out in the framework of shift systems, should be intensified.
27. Wherever possible, advantage should be taken of scientific and technical progress and of innovations relating to work organisation in order to limit recourse to night work.

Note: C171 Convention concerning Night Work, 26 giugno 1990

Fonte: ILO